By David Spiegel
TROY – The final two innings went back and forth, but the last laugh went to The Sage Colleges (17-10, 6-3 Skyline) in game one of Wednesday’s Skyline Conference doubleheader, as the Mount Saint Mary College softball team (20-11, 10-3 Skyline) fell to the Gators, 9-8, on a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Wednesday’s second game was suspended with a 4-4 tie after five innings due to darkness. The game may be continued at a later date.
The Knights put on a slugfest in the first two innings of game one. Junior third baseman Danielle Soto smacked a two-out solo home run to get the Knights on the board in their first at bat. Junior catcher Stephanie Karcher made it back-to-back with a solo shot of her own to put the Knights up 2-0. Sage’s Hillary Faas got one back for the home team with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
With two on and one away, senior right fielder Ashley Peel joined the party with three-run blast to put the Knights up 5-1. Kristen Beikirch got one back for the Gators with an RBI double to left center to cut the Knight lead to 5-2 after two.
The three home runs were the Knights’ only hits for the first six innings of Wednesday’s early game. Sage’s bat heated up in the middle innings of the contest. Meghan Roullier knocked in a pair in the bottom of the fourth on a single to left center to cut the deficit to a single run. Sage looked primed to steal a win after rallying for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-5 lead with the Knights down to their last three outs.
A pair of hits put the Knights in position to score with one away in the top of the seventh. Sophomore center fielder Sabrina Gordek laid down a sacrifice bunt, which led to Peel scoring from second to cut the deficit to one. With a runner now on third, Soto singled to center to tie the game, then moved up to second on a throw to the plate. Karcher then doubled to left center, giving the Knights the lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Sage’s first batter walked. After a strikeout, Samantha Woitkoski singled to move the tying run into scoring position. The next two Sage batters drew walks, bringing a run in, still with one away. Katie Kovage picked up the big hit for the Gators, singling in the winning run.
Kovage also picked up the win for the Gators despite allowing eight runs in seven innings. Sophomore pitcher Nicole Lomangino suffered the loss after allowing the tying and winning runs in the seventh.
Faas knocked in three runs in a 3-for-4 effort to lead the Gators to victory. Kovage went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI, while Beikirch matched her 4-for-5 outing and scoring three runs.
Soto and Karcher each knocked in two and scored a run in two-hit efforts for both Knight hitters. Peel went 1-for-3 with three RBI and two runs.
Game two might have concluded in a loss had the Knights not rallied for a four-spot in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. However, Sage managed to tie the game in the home half of the inning just before the umpires deemed it took dark to continue after the game began at a delayed start time of 6:15 p.m.